This was originally published on Off The Main Page on March 20, 2017.
The White House appliances see many things. President Obama didn’t need to be spied on, but President Donald Trump is doing shady things.
The White House break rooms see all. Kellyanne Conway told on the microwaves, so now the coffee maker and the toaster have taken over surveillance of the President.
The microwave was glad to leave and not have to see the Orange Menace in his bathrobe anymore. It could only heat up so many chicken nuggets and Big Macs. Also, that one Palin lady couldn’t spell or pronounce microwave.
The coffee maker has seen some stuff as well. Donald Trump can’t even pronounce or spell espresso, yet alone actually make one. He makes anyone who is standing near it make it for him. He claims he is in a hurry every time. The coffee maker also has to deal with this Russian guy, and there’s this weird vodka smell in the coffee is.
The poor toaster has to deal with so much. It toasts bread and nasty McDonald’s buns for the president. Those burgers can smell bad to a toaster that is used to making just bread.
Of course, the bread has changed recently. The bags say “BK” on them, and the president grumbles something about a tweet when he heats them up. I guess McDonald’s pissed him off.
Starting a business is a major challenge. You may have to manage people and deal with accounting that you haven't done before. One important decision is what to name your company. You need something unique and memorable, but not too weird.
That name is what your customers will think of you. It is your first impression when connecting with potential customers. Here are a few tips about a name:
Unique And Unforgettable
You need a name that will stand out in people's minds. People remember those unique names more often. This is referred to as "stickiness." You want a name that will stick out in the crowd. Avoid odd spellings of real names. You want a name that is easy to spell, so people you meet can find you if they Google your name. Also make something that is catchy and easy to remember. You want your customers to remember you when you meet them. It has to be unique enough to stand out. If you go to networking events, people may be hearing a lot about a lot of different companies. Make your company's name stand out.
Short And Sweet And To The Point
Try to keep your business name less than two syllables. It can become a mouthful if you get carried away with the name. Some business owners like to use kooky made-up words for their business names (Yahoo, Google, etc). Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn't. If you do that, make sure that you check out all possible meanings of the words. Many companies have made the mistake of picking a name, then finding out that it is an obscene word in another language. Also, it is better to have a name that describes what you actually do. Check carefully and make sure your name is available.
Things To Avoid With Naming
Don't put it up to a vote with your family and friends. You will only choose one name, so you risk alienating people who you may be trying to appeal to. Also, you may end up choosing a boring name from it. A better method is to only include your key decision makers in the process of choosing your names. Also, avoid using the "trainwreck" approach for a name. This usually involves mashing two words together (i.e. "QualiServe," "TranquiSpa"). Don't use any boring words in your name such as "general" or "first." Don't use your city or state in your name as well. That won't really work if you plan on extending your business to other locations.
Another thing to avoid is using names customers won't understand. Don't base you name off of some inside joke with your friends. It may be significant to you, but no one else is going to get it. If you do make a mistake and choose a bad name, be willing to change it if necessary. It may be a pain, but it can be worth it if you get more customers because of it.
Now that you have a few tips about what name to pick, here is a good process to follow when doing it. First, you need to decide what you want your name to convey to people. Choose something relevant and meaningful. Get a bit creative with it; it's important. Choose a name that reminds you of happy memories, so your customers can relate to it on an emotional level. You should also test your name with your customers or potential customers. They can tell you want they would like to see out of your business.
There are some business name generators online, but it will be more personal to come up with your own name. A brand can be created over time, but it helps it you have a good, unique name from the get-go. A catchy, recognizable name is good for keeping and/or bringing in customers. Make sure you pick one that you'll really like. Don't pick something that you will end up hating because if you have to change it, you will need to start this process all over again. You don't want to change names unless you really have to. Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you just how important the name really is. Make yours stand out from the pack!
Are you thinking about starting an Internet business? Do you already have a business and are trying to get it off the ground? Starting your own business can be very difficult and can be stressful. Check out this list if you are looking for ways to get inspired to make your business awesome.
When you have a new idea, talk it out with someone. Even if you are just talking to yourself in the shower. Talk about it. This will help you formulate the idea to sell, and you can work out how you will present it. Drink some coffee in the morning to get the ideas flowing. If you are trying to come up with an idea later in the day, have a glass or two of wine to relax you. It really helps if your thoughts are racing too much. Another important part of brainstorming is to write things down. Write down everything that comes to mind no matter how ridiculous it may sound. Good, bad, or horrible; write down all of your ideas.
We are social animals. Sometimes, we all need to talk to people. If you would like to get some opinions from an objective party, try sites like Quora or Reddit. You can ask questions and get answers from users. They may tell you about something you didn't realize existed. Talk to your friends and family as well. They can sometimes give great advice. Another great resource to talk to are fellow entrepreneurs. If you know anyone else who has a business or is starting one, they can be a great resource. Also, having your family helping can make you feel good. It is easier to take on something like this if you are not alone in it. You can also go read stories of other entrepreneurs. They are all over the internet and/or bookshelves. Get some inspiration from other successful business people. There are also many websites where you can find motivational quotes. Reading great words from the best minds in history can get your confidence up and your creative juices flowing.
Get Outside And/Or Exercise
Go take a walk to clear your head. Disconnect from your emails and social media. Go take a walk near some beautiful woods. Communing with nature is a great way to relieve stress. Hopefully, it will get the ideas to flow as well. The exercise and getting your blood pumping can make the synapses fly as well. Exercise inside can still help as well. Get on the treadmill; it could stimulate your mind. Take yourself away from the work for a few minutes. When you go back to it, you will have fresh eyes. You may notice things that you weren't before. Sometimes taking a longer break from work can help as well.
Use Any Sources
Be open to looking for ideas from many different sources. I'm referring to people as well as books and websites. Don't just ask your business partner. Ask some lower-level employees as well. See your business from their perspective. Also, be open to trying new ideas even if they fail. You may fail many, many times before you get it right. You just have to be determined to see your dreams come to life. Also, stop trying to be a perfectionist. Don't be afraid to make mistakes.
Never Stop Learning
Always, always keep researching and learning everything you can in your field. Keep up with technological innovations in general. Don't be the business using 20-year-old computers. Technology is a big part of just about any job nowadays. Browse the web and the library. Learn new business practices and anything you need to know for your field.
Be Creative In Other Ways
Try a new hobby to get your creative juices flowing. If you are artsy, you can try painting or drawing. You could even knit or sew if you want to. Depending on what your business is, being creative will always help. Critical thinking skills are important as well. Also, you can try meditation as well. It may be a way to relax you if you happen to be stressed out. You can also try to write out your ideas. Do some creative writing prompts.
Sources: Enterpreneur.com; Inc.com
This was originally published on Liberal America on May 12, 2016.
I just recently lost my dog, and I still get a lump in my throat just thinking about her. Pets can be great companions; they become just like a family member. Unfortunately, they have short life spans. Losing a pet is a horrible experience.
A 2002 article in the journal, “Society & Animals,” found that the loss of a dog can be just as painful as losing a significant other.
Losing a pet can be very intense for multiple reasons. There is the loss of unconditional love. Pets never judge us. Dogs and cats love us and, in return, we take care of them and love them back. They become an important friend in our lives. They become a constant companion.
Having a pet can be like having a child. We are responsible for feeding and taking care of them. They observe everything we do and love us anyway. Feeding and walking them becomes part of our daily routine; it can be a major adjustment when they’re gone..
Ther can also be the feelings of guilt. “What if I did this?” “If only I had done….”
I had to remind myself often that I was the best pet parent I could be. This is especially difficult when a pet has to be euthanized. A pet owner may wonder if they waited too long, or acted too soon. I tried to just remember all of the good times I had with my baby.
On top of the pain a person suffering this type of loss is dealing with, some people feel the need to dismiss those feelings. They might tell the person grieving, “It’s just a dog, get over it!”
But, there are plenty of support groups out there. After my girl passed, I joined a group for Miniature Pinschers (her breed). Those people knew what I was feeling, and I can see pictures of cute Min Pins that help ease my grief and remind me of happier times with my baby.
For more on dealing with grief during the loss of a pet, see the video below:
This was originally published on Liberal America on February 6, 2017.
Saturday Night Live has been making us laugh for over 40 years. One of the best parts of the show has always been their great presidential spoofs. Every former president laughed at them, and with us. Every president except Donald Trump, who berates the actors each week.
Here are some of the best ones from over the years:
1. 1975 – Chevy Chase’s President Gerald Ford
The first president to be made fun of on Saturday Night Live was Gerald Ford. Chevy Chase, playing Ford, discusses political pressure from Ronald Reagan. He fumbles with the phones and his water glasses before falling on the floor.
2. 1978 – Dan Aykroyd’s President Nixon
Dan Aykroyd really nails President Richard Nixon in this classic sketch. He really gets the mannerism and the speaking patterns of the late president while plugging his new book.
3. 1986 – Phil Hartman’s Ronald Reagan
This great sketch shows Reagan as the charming guy who doesn’t know what’s going on. However, when no one is in the room, his advisors come out and we see a Reagan who is a mastermind and knows everything that is going on.
4. 1990 – Dana Carvey’s President George H.W. Bush
Dana Carvey brilliantly parodies former President George H.W. Bush’s announcement about tax hikes.
5. 1992 – Phil Hartman’s President Bill Clinton
The late Phil Hartman made fun of Bill Clinton in this classic sketch. He plays Clinton who runs into a McDonald’s while out on a jog. He starts taking questions from people in the restaurant while stealing their food.
6. 2000 – Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush Presidential Debate
Here we have Will Ferrell playing former President George W. Bush and Darrell Hammond as Al Gore. Gore keeps talking about his “lock box” during all of the questions.
7. 2006 – Al Gore’s Parallel Universe
Here is Al Gore himself talking about what society might have been like if he had won the election.
8. 2014 – Jay Pharoah’s President Obama
Alec Baldwin has done an amazing job making fun of and pissing off President Donald Trump. I hope he will keep doing it. The best sketch of him was the reaction to P***ygate.
This isn’t a presidential spoof, but Melissa McCarthy did an amazing job of poking fun at the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.
These are just some of the epic political sketches in the show’s history. Make sure to check out the rest of the SNL collection from NBC and on the SNL YouTube Channel.
Here are a few inspirational stories from people in show business. This is including actors, singers, and other famous people. Hopefully, these will brighten your day. Keep chasing after your dreams, and don't give up on yourself. These people have experienced great success from their perseverance.
1. J.K. Rowling
Before she became a billionaire with Harry Potter, she was divorced and receiving government aid. She could barely afford to keep her young daughter fed. When she was shopping out the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, she couldn't afford the fees to have it photocopied so many times. For each publisher, she typed the entire book over again and sent that to them. The book got rejected dozens of times until it was picked up by small London publisher Bloombury. The publishing company's CEO's eight-year-old daughter loved it, and that's how it got published.
During the time she was struggling to make it, she was battling depression and suicidal thoughts. She had a hard time adjusting to the worldwide attention. She explained depression very accurately. She said it's not sadness, it is a "hollowed-out" feeling. Depression can cause you to lose interest in things you used to like. She describes it as an entirely different kind of pain. She wrote the Dementors in the books to represent depression. That's why the spell to get rid of them involves thinking of a happy memory. It might also explain why chocolate is the cure to get rid of them.
2. Stephen King
King also started out broke when trying to write. He was living in a trailer with his wife. They both worked multiple jobs to support their family. They had to borrow clothes for their wedding, and they didn't even have a telephone because it was so expensive. His first novel, Carrie, didn't do that well at first. When Signet Books signed on for the paperback rights, King got a nice $200,000.
He got his degree in English in 1970 from the University of Maine at Orono. He was trying to find a teacher job in the area, but he had no luck. He worked in laundry until he finally got a teaching gig at Hampden Academy. He also married his wife, Tabitha, that year.
In his book, On Writing, he said he wrote as a child. He had a nail in his wall for the rejection letters he got. The nail was so full that it couldn't support the weight of the papers. His first short story, "The Glass Floor," sold for $35. Now, his books have sold over 350 million copies and they have been made into numerous movies, miniseries, and television shows.
3. Sarah Jessica Parker
The Sex and the City actress was born in a poor coal-mining town in Ohio. She was the youngest of four children, and her parents divorced when she was two-years-old. She took up singing and dancing at a very young age to supplement her mother and stepfather's incomes. Her mom encouraged her to pursue her interests in the arts. They moved to Cincinnati, where Parker went to an arts school. She student ballet, music, and theater. She went to New York at the age of 11 to audition for a Broadway play. Her brother and she were both cast in the play. The entire family relocated to New York. She kept working to earn roles. Her biggest role was the main character in the hugely successful HBO show, Sex and the City.
4. Oprah Winfrey
The successful talk-show star has been through a lot in her life. She has gotten criticism of her weight and racism, and intrusive questions about her sexuality, among other incidents. She grew up the victim of sexual abuse. She was repeatedly molested by her cousin, her uncle, and a family friend. She had a child at the age of 14 who died two weeks later.
She persevered through all of this adversity. She finished high school as an honor's student. She won a full scholarship to college. She worked her way up through the ranks of television. She started at a local news station in Nashville. She now has risen to superstar status, and she owns her own broadcasting network.
Why is sewing considered as a healthy hobby?
Many people enjoy sewing as a hobby. It can be very relaxing, and it can be a great way to get cheaper clothes. You can also make money sewing if you are good at it. It can also be good for your health.
First off: What is a healthy hobby?
Hobbies can be more than just finding a way to spend extra time. They can help with your physical and emotional health. Hobbies can be used to fight Alzheimer's disease, stress, and high blood pressure. It can also boost your confidence if you have a unique skill to share.
Sewing And Health
Sewing can really help your mental health. It is very rewarding when you finish that project that you've been working on for a long time. It can help you regain motivation if you are feeling down. Taking a sewing class can also help you to meet more people. Sewing can also promote positive thinking. This can be a great help when depression has you hopeless and negative. It can really open up your social life; "sewing circles" are coming back into fashion. You can meet groups of other sewers and work on your projects together.
It fights Alzheimer's disease because it challenges your brain. Sewing requires a lot of math skills and other skills that challenge your brain. Planning and measuring a project can help keep your mind sharp. Quilting especially requires a lot of math and planning.
Finding a relaxing hobby can help with many physical ailments including back pain, fatigue, and insomnia. It helps your hand-eye coordination if you are working with small needles and threads. It can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
It can also help with concentration issues. It requires you to focus on the same task for hours. Sewing can be used to train yourself to concentrate better. This can help you do better at work or school, so you will have an easier time learning new things. It can also help you be able to read more efficiently.
Sewing is also a form of self-actualizing; you are being true to yourself when you practice this hobby. Men are still looked at as weird if they sew, but if you do it anyway you are self-actualizing. This can greatly build up your confidence. Every one of both genders can enjoy sewing for these benefits and more.
This was originally published on Liberal America on February 27, 2017.
Many right-wingers just love to use the term “bleeding-heart liberal” to describe us. They especially use it when we talk about compassion and inclusion for everyone. You may have heard it if you spend any amount of time debating with conservatives.
What Does ‘Bleeding-Heart Liberal’ Mean?
This is the definition from Urban Dictionary:
“A person who is considered excessively sympathetic toward those who claim to be underprivileged or exploited.”
When Was It First Used?
This term was first written as an insult against liberals by Westbrook Pegler in a 1938 column. Pegler hated liberals, Communists, and other groups. He referred to us as “bleeding hearts” in response to a bill that was up in Congress to curb lynchings.
The phrase “bleeding heart” was used in religious literature in the 19th Century. One politician used it this way in an 1862 speech:
“I come to you with a bleeding heart, honest and sincere motives, desiring to give you some plain thoughts.”
“Bleeding-heart” was used as a reference to Jesus Christ’s heart, which is supposed to symbolize compassion and love.
The term was brought back to use in political contexts in 1954 when Joe McCarthy used it. In 1963, it was used by a satirical columnist, Russell Baker, in a list of political insults:
“If one is called a ‘phoney,’ about the only thing he can do is come back with some epithet like, ‘anti-intellectual’ or ‘bleeding-heart liberal’…or ‘you must be one of those peace nuts.’”
Conservative Bleeding Hearts?
Can conservatives be compassionate? Urban Dictionary gives these definitions for “compassionate conservatism:”
“A conservative who wants to get more votes from liberals.”
“The phrase that attempts (unsuccessfully?) to force progressive ideas into a regressive box for the sole purpose of selling warm fuzzies to cold hearted bastards.”
This seems like an oxymoron to me. This is the same party that wants to keep the minimum wage low and cut food stamps and take away healthcare.
I’m proud to be a bleeding-heart liberal.